niturje

Mar 30, 2013

Hello, I was hoping to get some advice on what I might be doing wrong on here. I've tried the online dating thing for about 4 months now and out of 40, or so, ladies that I've messaged I have not received a single reply. Zero. I always try to make it funny or interesting with an open question at the end and only message those with a high Match percentage as well as common interests listed. Anyway, any help would be appreciated.  Thank you.

BacchiusAurelius

Mar 30, 2013

I think it's common to have a somewhat low (30% or so) response rate, and an even lower rate of landing dates. I have no data to back that up, but that's my experience. But 40 messages and no reply is pretty poor. My thoughts are:

  1. You need better pictures taken with a better camera. See the OkTrends post on this topic; it's crucial.
  2. Think about studying style/fashion a bit. Your polo shirts seem pretty old in the pictures. I also see you're thinning out up top a bit--think about finding a hairstyle that improves upon this kind of balding. There are good articles out there in Esquire about this. Google it.
ExtremeDating

Mar 30, 2013

Try not being so earnest.

Aside from that, realize that open-ended questions for the sake of open-ended questions often come across as disingenuous. Straightforward interest is fine; disingenuous interest is not fine and rubs people the wrong way. When you ask a question, ensure it's something you truly want to know, and don't kid yourself about this (maybe pretend you're reading a man's profile, not a woman's, and see whether you'd truly want to know the answer to the question).

Also, post some of your messages here, hiding names as appropriate, so we can give feedback on how interesting and funny they are. If you're reluctant to have the messages seen in public, reflect on what that could mean about the messages.

Professor712

Mar 30, 2013

niturje, you are complaining about a pretty common problem for guys sending messages to women on any online dating site.

There isn't a trick to getting all the women to reply. Each woman is different and each has their own tastes. It takes time and effort - doing the research on her profile to see if she might click with you. And, even then she might not have every deal-breaker on her profile. Every message is a risk that you can succeed or fail.

Most of the time people don't get replies back because: 

1) They don't click with you, or the other person feels there is no chemistry there, or no attraction. 

I hate to break some guys' hearts, but majority of the women online aren't going to be interested in you. The major advantage of online dating is you avoid 99% of the women who aren't interested in you. And the dates you generally get are people interested in you and not just your looks, but everything else.

Compare that to dating in real life - hopefully you give a great first impression and hope they are interested in the rest of you; not just your looks. And, you are still dealing with the other 99% of women who aren't interested in you. 

2) Bad messages

a) Picking messaging topics that the person gets too many messages about --- For example - person puts Lord of the Rings as their favorite movie - how many people are going to honestly also say that is also their favorite movie? Millions. Odds are you won't grab attention with a messaging stating you like it too. 

Also, think about the majority of the people online - most of us are geeks/nerds/good computer users/or people just using it because they don't have time to spend hours a week looking for a date.

Basically, you want to avoid common topics and popular subjects for those types especially current stuff. You want to stick out - not blend-in their mailbox and get deleted with the other like topics. 

b) Picking messaging topics that are little more than greetings.

These are great if you actually are in real life greeting the person and there is a purpose beyond saying hi to random people - not online and you are both complete strangers and odds are going to still be strangers after you greet each other.

Try going around in real life greeting everyone who passes you by on a busy street and nothing else. You will feel stupid after a while, and everyone passing by will think you are nuts or something is wrong with you. This will give you a real life experience of what you are doing when you greet every stranger online.

c) Ignoring key parts of their profile - Sort of like sending sex messages to someone who isn't into casual sex --- or sending lets go out tonight with someone who is an introvert -- or trying to jump gun who says they are an extrovert and they severely hate those things you want to do.

d) Writing open-ended questions. Don't just ask them to ask them. Be sincere about the questions you ask and the answers you receive. Plus it requires a special group of people to really ask those types of questions - not everyone will enjoy answering an open-ended question for a stranger. And, odds are the people who don't mind are usually just bored.

3) The person being messaged is busy with other things. 

This is very common, so don't expect every message you send to be replied to quickly. Just because they are active or online - doesn't mean they read your message within 5 minutes or by the next day. Most of the people online have lives outside of OkCupid. Many times messages get responded to a week or two later and usually only if the person sending the message doesn't keep looking at their person's profile. All it takes is one visit too many and you have a bad first impression such as a stalker, a obsessive person, a creep, a jerk, and so forth. 

My best advice is send the message and move on to the next person to message. You will increase your odds significantly by not looking at that person's profile since and you will look like you are interested in her, and she isn't your only person you are trying to date and you aren't obsessed with her, or her photos. 


4) Have a profile that clicks with the person you are sending a message to 

If your profile is generic - then the only people who are going to read your profile and think you are a great match are people who love generic people or people without dating standards. 

If your profile is written for people are highly intelligent - send messages to the highly intelligent - not everyone else.

Your profile should be focused on the people you like and the people you want to write to - not just any type of people.

5) Be careful with funny or interesting messages - 

It is possible to score a date with those kinds of messages, but you also need to understand the person who you are messaging and their sense of humor, or if they don't have one -- or what is interesting to them and actually be pretty good at hitting the target and getting them to respond well. Otherwise, you won't get anywhere.

Basically you are gambling everything on one message --- either she messages you and you click and go out on a date, you get a small response to it and you can hopefully recover and get a date out of it, or you blotch it and can't come back.

The problem is you are trying to hit a tiny target without much information about the person. Even the best - fail at this and often. And, you are using some of the most important things to her to attract her - if you fail at humor to her - you are forever going to be that unfunny guy to a girl looking for a guy with a sense of humor. Being interesting isn't as bad, but you can set yourself up as a person who doesn't understand her at all.

The better idea is to go through her match questions or look for topics that are uncommon to be messaged to her, but aren't extremely boring topics.

My personal favorite is rare/uncommon favorite subjects that I also enjoy and know pretty well. Don't google for questions on those - people who love our stuff will know you are doing that and you won't hear from us again.

 

niturje

Mar 30, 2013

Thanks for taking the time to reply, and the advice. I was reluctant to post since the subject is pretty common but I thought I had been following the usual advice and still hitting a wall so here I am. Some of the things mentioned I can't quite change (genetic fine, blonde hair - not balding but difficult to style) and others I can (didn't realize my shirts looked old), though the pic thing is always a pain since none of my friends are the shutterbug type.  I am curious what you meant by not being so earnest though. Am I not putting enough humor in there?

As for the copy-paste list, I do try to do all that but it's difficult to justify spending the time to make a beautiful, unique snowflake of a message when it doesn't seem like that will really increase the chance of a reply, at least in my experience. I don't have a message to copy right now but I'll admit that I've been putting in less effort into them because of the lack of success. As an example I might say something like:

"Hey there, I'm (name). I noticed on your profile that you mentioned you like Archery. I've been looking for a good place to practice a bit around here, do you know of any good ranges?"

Not too funny, I know but it can be difficult to string together a humorous message and hit the bulls-eye with it.

khb17

Mar 31, 2013

I don't know the first thing about archery or about Waco, but that message screams "fake" to me.  You've identified archery as a common interest, but you don't know of any places to practice in your area?  Really?  You might as well just say "Tell me where you hang out so I can stalk you."

If you actually are into archery, and you want to connect with someone over it, you could start by telling a story about a funny or interesting archery-related experience.  Or if you want to ask about ranges, at least say something like "I've tried (range X, range Y, and range Z), but I didn't like them for (archery-related reason)."  That'll at least reassure her that you're not just making shit up.

Professor712

Mar 31, 2013

niturje, if you find it difficult to justify spending time to write a good letter to a certain person - you are better off just finding someone who is worth the time to justify spending time to write a good letter then writing a letter in which you don't care how good it is. Or you are better off finding another activity that wastes your time.

99.999999% of the person's emails in a inbox on a online dating site are going to consist of people who don't give a fuck what kind of message they send and she can tell. It isn't hard to notice. 

If the same exact letter with minor alterations can mailed to any woman on the site - it is a copy and paste letter to her. If you spent less than 5 minutes - it is a waste of time unless you can actually write good letters in less than 5 minutes and you know your stuff.

niturje

Mar 31, 2013

Hm, yeah I can see the creepy angle of the message now that you mention it. I suppose I should add in that I moved here not too long ago and don't know the area well yet.

And I do choose those who I think of as worth the time, that's why I've only messaged about 10 a month where other guys message that many in a week or day. The point was that it's disheartening to put that effort in and still see no difference in results between sending a good message and a bland one. It's why I was wondering if my profile had any red flags in it that I wasn't seeing. Also, I have never used a generic copy-paste message.

KeepsHerGreen

Mar 31, 2013

I'd recommend changing your self-summary to show more of who you are.  Right now, there are lots of things that you do, and things that you like, but not so much what you value, or why you care about the things you care about.  I know I'm much more likely to respond to someone if I have a sense of who they are than if I just know what they like.  

khb17

Apr 1, 2013

If the same exact letter with minor alterations can mailed to any woman on the site - it is a copy and paste letter to her.

More importantly, if the exact same letter could have come from any man on the site, it also does nothing for you.  And here, your archery letter qualifies.  Anyone can say "I like archery" - although for most people, it would be a lie.  If you want to stand out (and be believed), write a message that could only be written by someone who actually likes archery.

With first messages in general, you want to not only express your interest in her, but also pique her interest in you. 

Sushibitch

Apr 1, 2013

"Hey there, I'm (name). I noticed on your profile that you mentioned you like Archery. I've been looking for a good place to practice a bit around here, do you know of any good ranges?"

I agree that asking where she practices isn't a great approach; it suggests that you're just asking about it as something to ask, rather than because you're actually into archery, as well as sounding a wee bit stalker-y. Also, you're not adding anything to the conversation, or giving her any reason to want to be in contact with you; the only bit of information you give about yourself is your name, which, at this stage, is kind of irrelevant. Plus, your second sentence is redundant; if you mention archery, she'll know it's because you saw it on her profile, and of course she already knows what she wrote on there.

I would say don't bother introducing yourself (you can do that later; the job of the first message is to catch her attention and make her want to reply), don't bother telling her anything she already knows or can work out for herself (so don't tell her you saw her profile and decided to write to her, don't inform her of anything on her profile, and don't suggest that if she wants, she could look at your profile and if she likes what she sees, reply to you), and I would say don't deal in facts; facts are boring. Opinions are much more interesting and easier to talk about. So if you actually are into archery and want to talk to her about that, ask her opinion on different styles of bow; does she prefer modern hi-tech, or is she more of a historically-accurate craftsmanship kinda gal? OK, I know nothing about archery, so that may be a silly question, in which case choose something else, but the point here is that by asking an insider's question, you're demonstrating that you actually do share her interest and are not just claiming to share it in order to have an excuse to talk to her, and you can also put across something of your own personality by explaining why you personally favour a traditional French-style yew-wood long-bow over high-carbon steel (or whatever, I'm making this up as I go along, just as an example), which is likely to be a bit more engaging than asking where she practices. Or ask her how easy she found to learn, and tell her that hilarious story about the first time you went to the butts and ended up shooting your instructor in the buttock.

And if you're not actually into archery and are just using that as an excuse to talk to her, don't; find someone with whom you actually have something in common instead; you're much more likely to be able to write a genuine message that way.

As for the copy-paste list, I do try to do all that but it's difficult to justify spending the time to make a beautiful, unique snowflake of a message when it doesn't seem like that will really increase the chance of a reply, at least in my experience.

Don't spend too much time on each message! If something in someone's profile genuinely catches your eye, fire off a quick message about it with whatever is actually going through your mind; over-thought messages come across as stiff and artificial, and can give the impression that you're over-invested, which is unattractive.

MsOtis

Apr 1, 2013

Just a note on the education remarks on your profile. You say you're working on two degrees in (xxxxxxx) and then plan on working on becoming an Electrical Engineer. 

I was curious how you get two degrees in the same subject simultaneously. Or maybe I misread that?

 And is the 'becoming an E.E.' mean another degree, or will the two degrees take care of the reqts. for that?

 

imnotfatok

Apr 1, 2013

Hello, I was hoping to get some advice on what I might be doing wrong on here. I've tried the online dating thing for about 4 months now and out of 40, or so, ladies that I've messaged I have not received a single reply. Zero. I always try to make it funny or interesting with an open question at the end and only message those with a high Match percentage as well as common interests listed. Anyway, any help would be appreciated.  Thank you.

 

 

All i can say in reply, is that here on OKC it's a hit or a miss, as in my experience. Getting a date or someone to write you back won't happen for over night. We are here for the same reason, to find our partner for life, right!? Well it just takes patience my dear child. So just relax and keep putting your best foot forward, eventually you will get it in someone's door! :)

 

Also on the percentage thing,i feel that sometimes you need to ignore the percentage, you might have something in common with someone who is 50% match rather then the higher 70% match. You get what i mean? So i would say go ahead and message someone that has a lesser match percentage, you just never know! :) And most importantly, and i think everyone can agree, ANSWER as many questions as you can!! And be sure to not just read the profile, but study the personality section also! The personality section is based off the questions you answer.. so this why it's so important to answer as many as you can!!

 

And most importantly be yourself in the message. I mean it's all you can be right?  :)

A good opening email to a lady would be " Hey There! My name is (insert name or screen name). I was checking out your fabulous profile and i think we have some stuff in common! I would love to hear back from you when you got the time. Have a fantastic day!

Best Regards,

(insert name or screen name)"

 

I hope this helps!

Sushibitch

Apr 1, 2013

^ Gotta say, I think that would be a fairly awful opening message to a woman; it involves nothing personal, tells her a load of stuff she already knows, and doesn't actually give her any reason to want to write back, plus it's exactly the kind of message that 60% of guys here are sending out, so it doesn't stand out at all.

YMMV though, obviously.

imnotfatok

Apr 1, 2013

^ i know it doesn't tell her anything or make them want to write back... but it's better then just " hey."<--that is also about what 80% the guys on here do send, very cookie cutter..lol. My example i posted above isn't the best okay, i know it sucks and it wasn't meant for copying, i just pulled that one out of my ass.. you need to get creative with your emails. Keep them short too!

niturje

Apr 1, 2013

Wow, lots of good posts, thanks everyone!

To address the more personal stuff, archery is a real interest of mine (I prefer recurve to a compound bow), and I am working on two degrees concurrently. The college I'm attending has two degree plans with most of the same courses shared between them, so I just take one extra semester and graduate with two  full degrees, it's a great deal. After that I'll have to transfer to another college for another 2 years to finish off E.E.

Don't spend too much time on each message! If something in someone's profile genuinely catches your eye, fire off a quick message about it with whatever is actually going through your mind; over-thought messages come across as stiff and artificial, and can give the impression that you're over-invested, which is unattractive.

That's the part I'm struggling with right now; you've seen what my quick messages are like with my example above. I had no creepy intentions so it didn't cross my mind that the message would be misconstrued as such, I just meant for it to be a door opener to a conversation. That's why I spend the extra time in making the message, I don't have that magic charisma needed to make a quick first message, from a cold start, unique enough to merit a reply, or view in most cases. Yeah, I know, sob story. Anyway, what I'm getting is that the message needs to be short and quick like toast but unique and amazing like torte.

 

Sushibitch

Apr 1, 2013

^ Well, focus on putting yourself in your message, instead of asking for information, and be genuine; if something she says in her profile reminds you of that time when that thing happened, don't think about how to writer her a message to open up conversation; just tell the story abut that time when that thing happened, off the top of your head, as if you were just shooting the breeze over some beers with someone you're comfortable with.

snow_bunting

Apr 1, 2013

Ok I read through some of the personality questions, and you seem to have a good balance between having opinions and preferences, and having an open mind and awareness of others' perspectives.  Only one question rubbed me wrong. But that happens w/almost anyone and someone would already be interested by your profile to be reading those.

Of the pictures you have, the one of you smiling is the best, in my opinion. It is a decent, full, and non-crazy smile.  Maybe some other pictures-one out with a small group of friends, and one in good lighting with an uncluttered background like a park or field on a partly cloudy day. morning to mid-morning light is good; afternoon is harsh.

I got the 'be specific and give examples' advice and am passing it on.  For example...what do you and your friends like to do on a Friday? Go bowling, try a new restaurant, go to a favorite traditional haunt with great burgers, ect...

New_Tool_SN

Apr 1, 2013

A lot of great advice in here.  One thing people don't seem to be stressing enough is keep your first message BRIEF.  No more than 3 sentences, and no more than one question (direct or implied).  

You wouldn't walk up to a new person at work and immediately launch into a barrage of questions, while simultaneously telling them your life story (I hope) - so don't do it online, either.

You're not writing Julius Caesar, here - you're just trying to open up a dialogue with another human being.

 

 

niturje

Apr 8, 2013

Oh, one other question since I haven't seen it mentioned much. Is it worth it to send another message to the same person, after some time has passed? I don't mean one asking if the last message was ignored, but a second attempt at trying to open a conversation after adding better pics and/or updating the profile, maybe a month after the first attempt? Would that be considered pushy, creepy, or anything of the sort?

I've not sent a second message to anyone, just been taking the silence as a polite rejection, but eventually I'll run out of matches which only leaves me with a couple options. Risk being annoying or be done with the site. Any opinions?

 

P.S.

Sorry if my writing is a bit jumbled, I've spent more hours doing math today than I slept last night.

Post a comment